Working Together as a Multi-Skilled Team

Sep 21, 2020

In picture: The Engineering team from Raffles Hotel Singapore

Typically, Operation Technicians and Senior Operation Technicians at Raffles Hotel Singapore specialise in one of four main functions of engineering:

  • Shift Operations
  • Mechanical and Electrical (Kitchen and Laundry)
  • Painter, Craftsmen and Locksmith
  • Audio Visual

While there are advantages of team members who are specialists in their own areas, challenges arise when there is an urgent need to attend to a job request which is out of their area of specialisation. For example, if there is an urgent need to attend to a mechanical issue in the kitchen, and the staff specialising in kitchen and laundry is unavailable, the job will either be held up or escalated to a Duty Engineer to attend to the request. As a result, guests’ experience will either be disrupted, or that the Duty Engineer will be taken away from strategic and administrative functions which include preparing and interpreting reports, budgeting, rostering, planning, contract negotiations and training, etc.

The management team in the Engineering department therefore saw a need to cross-train all operation technicians and senior operation technicians to ensure that they are multi-skilled in all areas so that they will have the confidence, knowledge and skills to attend to all types of engineering-related requests. This involves each team member being trained in the other three functions of engineering through on-the-job training by the duty engineers and peers who specialised in their specific areas.

In picture: The Raffles Hotel Engineering team undergoing on-the-job training.

While this initiative will take time and effort to come to fruition, this will be outweighed by the benefits of increased productivity as a result of greater teamwork and synergy amongst team members. Given the team’s close-knit culture, there will also be an increase in job satisfaction and engagement as team members will be able to assist one another when there are multiple job requests or to cover each other when a colleague is on leave. This has also been a great opportunity for senior technicians to share their craftsmanship trade such painting, repairs and carpentry skills with the younger generation of engineers, ensuring a succession of skills to upkeep the Grand Dame. Finally, the change of job title to ‘Facilities Technician’ reflects the change in job scope and responsibilities to be more aligned and relevant to today’s industry needs.

In picture: The Raffles Hotel Engineering team posing with their tools of choice.